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Old Posted Sep 12, 2007, 5:09 AM
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sirkingwilliam sirkingwilliam is offline
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SA: San Antonio Lands 70 Million Dollar Polytrauma Center

S.A. to get new $67 million polytrauma center

Web Posted: 09/11/2007 05:36 PM CDT
http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/med....c441d776.html

Gary Martin
Express-News Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON – San Antonio was selected as the site of a $67 million polytrauma center to treat veterans and soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with multiple wounds, the Department of Veterans Affairs announced Tuesday.

The new VA facility – one of five nationwide – will be built on the Audie L. Murphy Memorial Veterans Hospital campus.

"San Antonio deserves this facility because it is the center of military medicine and so many active duty service personnel and veterans live in the area,’’ said Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas.

Hutchison, the ranking Republican on the Senate Appropriations subcommittee for military construction and veterans affairs, was instrumental in writing legislative language to create a new, centrally located polytrauma center.

Locating the polytrauma center in San Antonio also was pushed by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, the South Texas congressional delegation, and San Antonio civic and business leaders.

Rep. Ciro Rodriguez, D-San Antonio, said the consolidation of military medical care and training at Brooke Army Medical Center, and the number of veterans in need of specialized treatment, was an important factor in the decision.

"We are strategically located," Rodriguez said. "If you look at the number of soldiers coming in from Iraq, BAMC is receiving most of them.’’

Building the polytrauma center in San Antonio "certainly complements the military medical mission that is evolving at Fort Sam Houston,’’ where BAMC is located, said Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff.

"It certainly gives us a leg up on being the center for military medicine in the nation,’’ Wolff said.

Hutchison, in a letter to VA Secretary Jim Nicholson last April, urged the Bush administration to place a new polytrauma center in San Antonio because of ongoing Pentagon efforts to centralize military medical services and training in the area.

Existing Level 1 polytrauma centers are currently located in Florida, Minnesota, California and Virginia. There are 17 other secondary facilities, including those in Dallas and Houston.

The new trauma center at Audie Murphy would work in conjunction with Brooke Army Medical Center, Willford Hall USAF Medical Center, University Hospital, the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research.

In addition, San Antonio is also home to the National Trauma Institute, a federally funded military-civilian center that coordinates research, treatment and aftercare for victims and families.

Texas is home to 1.7 million military veterans. There are 180,000 veterans in the San Antonio metropolitan area, according to VA statistics.

Congress has already approved $30 million in construction funding to begin building a fifth center. Those funds were tucked into an Iraq war supplemental spending bill passed earlier this year.

Construction on the new center is expected to begin in fiscal year 2008, which begins Oct. 1.

Additional funding for the project would come from VA accounts. The VA has budgeted $67 million for the new polytrauma center.
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Old Posted Sep 24, 2007, 5:02 PM
totheskies totheskies is offline
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Very nice. unfrotunate that there is such a need for it, but I'm glad that it will be in SA.
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